As the migration ‘back to the office’ starts in earnest, the latest global data and webinar from workplace strategists, WKSpace, points to a growing gap between employers and employees.

In fact, the research suggests that working from home may be detrimental to career progression with nearly 80% of employers admitting that employees need to be physically visible to climb the ladder.

A staggering 66% of employees agree that they need to be seen by their employers and managers to boost their career.

Sliding trust

It also seems that levels of trust between employers and employees have decreased as the pandemic has rumbled on.

Over a third of employers (35%) state that they simply do not trust how remote workers spend their time and would prefer to have them in the office. In fact, 58% of employers believed that the quality of work has declined.

Striking the right balance

WKSpace has gathered data to track the changing employee and employer attitudes throughout the pandemic. To date, they have surveyed 876,000 respondents globally to understand their attitudes to working from home and the return to the office.

Overall WKSpace’ research highlights - like many others - that workers feel that working from home has allowed them to save time and money, improve productivity and offer a better overall balance in their life.

Human touch

However, the latest data also highlights some of the key challenges that are emerging; long hours, increased screen time, higher stress levels, and weakening work relationships.

With the increased periods of isolation, many people working from home are also reporting not feeling part of a team having a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

In fact, when asked why they would like to return to the office, two thirds of employees wanted to work more collaboratively with colleagues and over half (56%) wanted to socialise with others.

Employers also pointed to staff development and training as another key element of returning to the office, with 67% believing that this needs to happen in the workplace.

Mind the gap!

The chasm emerging between employees and employers is threatening to grow bigger as nearly half of employers (48%) in the latest research admit that they will disregard what employees are looking for from their environment as they return to the office.

This despite 83% of employees saying that the pandemic has changed the way they feel about their place of work.

This indicates a lack of understanding from employers when it comes to adapting to post-pandemic life. It also suggests that there isn’t much regard for the fact that the environment has a huge impact on productivity and that ‘one style doesn’t fit all’.

For more insight into these issues, watch The Essential Office or read The Essential Office: Evolving Needs and Fresh Perspectives.

Hannah Nardini Workplace Strategist: WK Space Full bio and articles


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